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Wedding Photography in Downtown Denver

August 1, 2014

Last Saturday we photographed our first wedding at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts www.denvercenter.org The Complex is located in the heart of the Denver Theatre District in Downtown Denver, Colorado.

The wedding day began with everyone getting dressed at the Magnolia Hotels www.magnoliahotels.com . The hotel website had this information about the property. In 1993, the company purchases its first building, a vacant 85-year-old former bank building in the core of downtown Denver’s business district. The property underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and was restored to reflect its original appearance. The hotel opened in 1995 under the name Holtze Executive Place, later changed to the Magnolia Hotel.

In a big city moving a wedding party and family from the hotel to the actual wedding venue can resemble a Chinese fire drill. Coordinating the rides and times for the bride, bridesmaids, groom and groomsmen can be very stressful. It always takes more time then expected. Thank goodness they took my advice and planned for the needed extra time.

Megan and Tim had their “first look” under the marquee in front of the Seawell Grand Ballroom with the wedding party peeking from the upper floors of the parking structure. They chose to see each other in advance of the wedding so we would have more time to make formal wedding photographs. We spent the next hour making wedding photographs in this dynamic architecturally rich environment bursting with angles, layers and light. The atrium roof provided welcome relief from the sun and later the sprinkling rain.  We were thrilled to have a new visual playground and a wedding couple willing to schedule additional time for us to create wedding day imagery for them.

The Seawell Grand Ballroom http://denvercenterevents.org/ is large enough to host both the wedding ceremony and the reception. This wedding they draped the room into two parts, both were dramatically lit.

The Ballroom website says they deliver memorable, inspiring and unique events. “Your guests will marvel at the panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains and iconic elements of Denver’s Lower Downtown Skyline — offering an incredible view of urban architecture and mountain peaks.  As the sun goes down, the ceiling transforms into a star-filled canopy above this 10,000 square-foot dream space, lined with mirrors to reflect your theatrical event.”

After seeing what they were able to do to the ballroom I would agree. The ceremony side of the room was beautiful and the reception area was breath taking.

The caterer was Epicurean Group – Denver Catering www.epicueangroupco.com . They are rated in the top 25 caterers in the world by Special Event Magazine. The food was served buffet style and was delicious. The main course was stuffed pork tenderloin with roasted tomatoes and asparagus. My favorite part of the meal was the mashed sweet potatoes.

After the traditional toasts, cake cutting and ceremonial first dances the party really started and the place got bumping very quickly. The wedding guests danced up a storm underneath a 4-foot disco ball that hung from the ceiling. We were exhausted by the end of the night but Megan and Tim’s wedding was truly a beautiful event. Certainly a highlight on our summer Colorado wedding photography calendar. Thanks guys!

Bride groom Denver Center for the Performing Arts

brides maids watch bride and groom

bride groom Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Ninja kiss bride groom

Bride groom Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Seawell Grand Ballroom

Dancing Seawell Grand Ballroom

Dancing Seawell Grand Ballroom Denver

 

 

 

The Gardens on Spring Creek is a beautiful place to get married

June 20, 2014

June is definitely wedding season and it is going strong in Fort Collins. I had the pleasure of photographing Amber and Scott’s wedding at The Gardens on Spring Creek http://www.fcgov.com/gardens/ in Fort Collins, Colorado. They were my first June wedding couple and the first wedding I have photographed at this venue. I had not been to The Gardens since the city first established it in 2004. These gardens are truly beautiful. A stroll through them leaves you feeling very peaceful and at one with the splendors of nature. The colors are so beautiful  with the different shades of greens. Flowers are sprinkled throughout the scene adding pops of pink, reds, purple, yellow like a little colorful surprise. I also enjoy how they have used different types of plants in the landscaping that can add texture and dimension to a wedding photograph.

My over all reaction was “Wow” these gardens have matured and expanded into something that is truly a Fort Collins treasure. A wonderful venue for wedding photography and as a wedding photographer there were so many choices to pose the bride and groom. The only problem I had was that we ran out to time. Honestly I could have spent hours there making wedding pictures of the Amber & Scott.

The staff was extremely nice and stayed late for us. The weather had caused things to run late, rain storms  blew through all afternoon that day. The clouds helped out with the blistering hot sun and softened the light for the wedding photos but I am getting a little tired of  the wind and rain. I’m sure I will be praying for a rain clouds to come and cool me off in July when I am photographing weddings in the scorching heat.

The city of Fort Collins owns the Gardens on Spring Creek so arranging a wedding or other event is done through the city. The rental agreement is on their website and explains all the details. The Gardens not only host weddings but other events such as receptions, wedding reception, award ceremonies, reunions, and meetings. Availability of space is limited and determined by The Gardens program schedule. Outdoor spaces available for rental include the Children’s Garden, Garden of Eatin’, Outdoor Classroom, Rock Garden and the Entire Site. These sites are only available before or after hours. If your are thinking of hosting a wedding at The Gardens I would reserve it as soon a possible to insure the date.

Amber and Scott had an intimate wedding ceremony with only a few friends and family members. Their good friend officiated the ceremony, to the surprise of all their guests. Once the vows were said, rings exchanged and the wedding photographs were taken we were off to Jay’s Bistro http://www.jaysbistro.net/ . Jay’s is one of my favorite restaurant in Fort   Collins. They are a locally owned family business with an entrepreneurial spirit and have been in Fort Collins since the 1980’s.  Jacki and Jay run a first class restaurant. The food is always excellent and the staff is very attentive.  My family has celebrated many occasions at Jay’s from birthdays to college gradations. It is a place I highly recommend and I am always delighted to eat there.

Thanks to Amber and Scott for letting me be your Fort Collins wedding photographer.

 

brides dress hanging

groom helping ring bear dress

Flower girl getting ready for wedding

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The Gardens on Spring Creek

bride and groom exchange vows

bride and groom exchange rings

bride and groom walk down aisle

Bride and groom portrait

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bride and groom in window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado destination wedding

June 14, 2014

Sylvan Dale Wedding horses

Last Wednesday we photographed a small wedding ceremony on a ridge overlooking the Rocky Mountains in Northern Colorado. And I mean small, just the wedding couple, Art the officiant, a horse wrangler, Bill & me. Anja and Joe came from Germany for a Colorado destination wedding at Sylvan Dale Ranch http://www.sylvandale.com/  Sylvan Dale Ranch is nestled in the scenic Colorado foothills just west of Loveland. Even though the Ranch endured substantial damage from the floods last fall, they remain a beautiful location for a Northern Colorado wedding.

Sylvan Dale’s head wrangler Art, wore many hats that day. He was their tour guide, officiant, composer and musician. He guided the wedding couple on horse back onto the mountain ridge above Sylvan Dale Ranch. This high plateau over looked the Big Thompson Canyon, Loveland and Fort Collins. Needless to say the view was absolutely stunning.  We got lucky with the weather too. The rain clouds had been building all day and I was extremely worried it was going to open up on and pour but the rain held off.  The clouds softened the harsh sun light and made the temperature perfect, not too hot for a June summer day wedding. The rain had been very helpful early this month by making everything green and lush looking. The horses munched away on the tall grass and the meadow was covered with wild flowers as well.

The bride and groom arrived on horseback walking up through the meadow and stopping on the ridge over looking Glen Haven Valley. Art got off his horse and sang them a love song he composed as he played the guitar. A simple prayer was said and then Art lead them through their wedding vows. A bird serenaded the wedding couple as it flew over head and the wind blew gently through the tall grass creating a soft whispering rustle like the string section of an orchestra.

This was a truly wonderful Colorado destination wedding and we were honored to be chosen to provide their wedding photography.  www.SherriBarber.com.

 

Sylvan Dale Wedding horses

Wild Flower Colorado

Sunset magic time for wedding photography

May 23, 2014

Sunset is a the magical time of day. We refer to it as the golden hour. A perfect sunset can make for gorgeous photographs. As much as possible when making wedding photographs I try to take advantage of what Mother Nature has to offer. The last hours of the day when the sun is low near the horizon and less intense or even after the sun has gone down and is starting to make the clouds glow is “Magic Time”.

I really like how the sunset can light up a veil and make it pop out. Veils can be hard to photograph because of the material they are made out of and tend to blend in with the background of the dress. Veils take on a completely different look when the sunlight illuminates them from behind.

I also take advantage of the sunset and make several different types wedding photographs from one vantage point. I can expose for the sky and make a silhouette. I can add a light onto the wedding couple after the sun has set and create a completely new look to the photograph. This is the time of day I have more control over my photographs and can take advantage of the beauty nature has to offer and create unique wedding day memories.

This year the Summer Solstice is June 21 making that the longest day of the year! For the months of June and July Sunset is between 8:30 – 8:40 pm, with the peak colors generally being within 15 minutes before sunset. Scheduling sunset pictures into your timeline can be a challenge as dinner, toasts, or dancing generally falls around the same time as sunset. If the sunset does happen during the dinner I generally try and schedule in a few moments for a sunset shot with the bride and groom right after they have finish eating and before the toasts start. Most guests are still eating, so if we are quick the bride & groom are not missed.

Sherri Barber

Bride Groom Wyoming sunset clouds

bride groom sunset kiss

bride groom sunset walking holding hands

bride groom sunset star unique portrait

bride groom dip kiss sunset

bride groom kiss in tunel

bride groom unique sunset portrait

bride groom classical portrait sunsent

bride groom sunset estes park

 

 

 

Groomsmen gift ideas

May 2, 2014

Groomsmen gift ideas

The groomsmen are the groom’s best buddies. He has relied on them throughout his life to get into trouble with, to get him out of trouble and tell him when he is being stupid. I have heard some pretty funny stories from the groomsmen during the wedding reception toasts, some stories better off left untold. A word to the wise if the story involves a stolen goat, unhappy cops and or random nude women…. it should not be told in front of grandma. Oops.

On the wedding day, the groomsmen usually behave themselves and offer their to support the groom. A thank you from the groom to his guy pals for their support and friendship is the groomsmen gift.  This may lead to a lot of pressure but don’t worry they are just guys after all. Guys tend to keep things pretty simple.

The most traditional gift is a flask. This can be a very nice gift and engraving the groomsmen’s initials can personalize it. This gift normally confuses me, and I am always left wondering several things. 1. How hard is it to get the booze into the flask and how much is spilled? 2. If you share with a buddy or better yet a cute girl how many sips does it hold? I have never seen a flask big enough. This comment probably says more about me than anything. 3. How much pre-planning will a guy do? If he is running out of the house, stops in his tracks and says wait I forgot to fill my flask. This probably says something about him. 4. If you have a perfectly good container already holding the booze why take it out and put it into another container? Those are just a few things I think of in the middle of the night.

The other classic gifts given to groomsmen are watches and money clips. Both are very nice and neither keeps me awake at night.

The most original groomsmen gift I have seen as a Northern Colorado Wedding Photographer are cuff links made from hand tied flies used in fly fishing. The groom was an avid fly fishing angler and made a unique gift for his friends incorporating one of his passions. Pretty classy!

Groomsmen gift cuff link hand tied fly

Save-The-Date

April 25, 2014

The other day I received in the mail the other day a Save-The-Date postcard from Joseph and Caitlin, who are getting married in September. I will be photographing their wedding. I also photographed their engagement pictures about 6 months ago. Joseph is a pilot, so we incorporated an airplane into their photograph.

bride and groom old plane

Save-The-Date cards are a great idea. This gives friends and family members a heads-up so  hopefully they will keep that date open on their calendar.  Also by sending these out it will generate excitement for the upcoming wedding, showers and bachelorette parties that will soon follow.

The general rule on sending out the Save-the-date cards are to send them six to nine months before the wedding date. If the wedding is going to be a destination wedding or on a major holiday then your guest will need extra time, nine months to a year are more  appropriate.

Send the cards to all the guest you are planning on inviting. If the guest is on the maybe list then hold off. You can’t un-invite a guest once they receive a save-the-date card. You are obligated to invite them to the wedding. Don’t forget you will still need to send wedding invitations to your guests.

The Print Cafe in Fort Collins http://www.theprintcafe.com/ makes some great Save-The-Date cards. They range in all shapes and sizes from postcards to magnets. My personal favorites are the fun flip cards. They have a video on their website which shows the flip cards in action.

The photograph or photographs on the cards can incorporate something special about the bride and groom. I have photographed couples with their dog wearing a sign with the wedding date on it. I have photographed couples where they got engaged, where they had a special date, where the bride and groom met for the first time. The possibilities are endless.

save the date with dog

 

Garden Wedding Ceremonies Brookside Gardens

March 21, 2014

I’m excited to see the array of beautiful flowers and plants Brookside Gardens Event Center http://www.brooksidegardens.com in Berthoud Co. has planted this year. They do an exceptionally wonderful job with a wide range of flowers and plants in their gardens. The landscaping and waterfall are truly extraordinary and can take your breath away.  I love photographing weddings there because of all the gorgeous colors. There isn’t really much need for big flower armaments because of what they plant. The arbor is always stunning with the green ivy growing up the sides and the giant flower baskets hanging from the beams full of red, purple and pink blooms. It is always so pretty watching the bride descend from the top of the stairs through the arbor toward the groom on her father’s arm. The beaming bride in her white dress through an explosion of complementary colors truly is a sight to see. If that isn’t enough, Longs Peak and the Rocky Mountain Range can be seen to the west in the distance and adds a great backdrop for any wedding regardless how big or small.

father bride walking down aisle

 

Bride groom garden ceremony sunset

The party is then moved to the greenhouse building for the reception, which is lovely all on it own. It is open, light with lots of windows and giant doors panels that retract completely out of the way.  I’ve seen it decorated many different ways with up lighting , candlelight and natural light. There is never less than a beautiful wedding there.

Bride groom dance Brookside Gardens

I love photographing brides and grooms at Brookside Gardens because of all the photographic options we have to choose from like, the waterfall, flowers, arbor, more flowers, cool barn, grove of trees and if there is time an alfalfa field that sets to the south.  I quote their website “Your guest will be in awe and the photo opportunities are endless.”

bridal portrait flower garden

bridal portrait flower garden

Wifely Duties 1950’s Style #7

March 7, 2014

Ok this is the final one.

Minimize all noise:

At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

After a stressful day of commuting and working and being pulled in 10 different ways at all once it’s nice to come home to a quiet home and have the feeling of peace and tranquility.

I honestly don’t know any sane person that wants to have chaos and noise surrounding them all day, wherever they go. There’s something about coming home to a relaxing lit house with hardly any noise.

A few things to have turned off or quieted by the time your husband comes home from work would be:

  1. The Television- However, set the remote next to his chair or spot in the sofa so that he can turn it on when he’s ready. You’re not sure what show he may be feeling like watching, if any. This will also remind him that you’ve been working hard all day. If he comes home and the TV is on he might wonder if you were watching TV most of the day and then popped up when you heard him pulling up the driveway.
  2. Dish Washer- Even though we have whisper quiet dishwasher’s now, it’s still nice to have it as quiet as possible. The smell of the dish detergent may be an annoyance to him. After a hard day anything could put anyone in a foul mood. Hand wash whatever needs to be taken care of and place them on the dishwasher’s rack to drip dry so they’re out of sight out of mind.
  3. Radio– Have you ever been so overworked or irritated that even the radio in the car was bugging you? This could be true for him on any given day so play it safe and turn whatever tunes you had playing for you throughout the day off when it gets close to his arrival.
  4. Hang Up The Phone– If you happen to be gabbing with a friend or perhaps someone just called make sure to end the call before he gets home so that he can have all your attention as you greet him by the door. The most annoying thing in the world is to be happy to see someone and then have a finger placed in front of your face telling you to wait a second while they’re on the phone.
  5. Children– If you have kids, particularly small ones, you may want to train them that quiet play time has to happen at least 30 minutes before dads arrival. Have them read a book, play a quiet educational game (that doesn’t create a mess). I say 30 minutes before he gets home that way it’ll give them time to get use to bringing their energy level down plus you never know when hubby might be coming home early!
  6. Pets– If you have a dog or dogs you might want to put them outside or crate them before hubby comes home. Some people don’t mind being greeted by their beloved furry family members, but others don’t want to have their dog(s) jump up on them as soon as they walk in the door. Use your judgment on this one. This one will truly depend on what your husband wants.

I want to add that on top of the noise reduction I also think the house should have relaxing lighting. If you have dimmers then dim the light to a soft glow. If no dimmers then just turn on lamps instead of the fixtures overhead. You can also just turn on certain lights that will light up the house without being overbearing. I personally like to put on the lamp in the living room and then the kitchen light is usually on since I’m in there preparing dinner.

Sometimes nightlights are a good thing too. They can be pretty bright, light up a room fairly good and give off a soft glow. The ultimate would be to have candles burning! Soft ample light, romantic and relaxing, just make sure they’re high enough away from the dog or kids. Candle wall sconces are great too.

Hopefully these all help you continue on your path to being a perfect 1950’s housewife and remember, You get what you give

 Thanks to Laidee Bug for this information

Wifely Duties 1950’s Style #6

February 28, 2014

Prepare the children:

Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces, comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part

Most children, especially younger ones, run to the door when their mom or dad come home. If there is warmth, love, nurturing, appreciation and respect in and around the home, why would they not be excited to greet the one that provides all this wonderfulness. Now my dad was mostly a hard labor working man and he would clean up before hugging us because he was dirty and smelly, so what if the tables where turned? What if my dad was a business man that wore a nicely pressed shirt and tie everyday to work. He wouldn’t really be too excited about his children hugging and jumping all over him with sticky fingers, dirty clothes, finger paint covered hands or anything else.

Like I said, we don’t have children, but we pets. Now, my husband is a pressed shirt and tie business man and even though he’s excited to see me when he comes home I wont hug him when I’m preparing dinner if I have something on my hands. He wont let the dog jump up on him in his work clothes. He wont even let the cat sit on his lap while in work clothes cause of the fur they leave behind. It’s not until he gets into his comfortable clothes that he’s ok with the all animals on him.

Some ways that we can make this fit for our family is:

  1. If you have a baby, make sure there’s a fresh diaper on and a clean face so he can pick the little one up with pure pleasure.
  2. Have older children put toys away and wash hands and, like the rule states, change clothes if needed. This will teach good manners and organization!
  3. If you have no children but instead pets, crate your dog (if trained) or put up a baby gate to isolate them, for a moment, to a bedroom, bathroom, den, etc. Once “daddy” is in comfortable clothes, let “Fluffy” loose.
  4. Make sure all pet fur has been cleaned from the sofa, in case he wants to sit for a bit before changing. I suggest cleaning it earlier then placing a blanket over it. Remove blanket before he comes home.
  5. If there’s a friend of your child’s spending the night just let them know, nicely, how your household works and that your husband has worked hard all day. If they want to play and be loud then just have them go to your child’s bedroom. Break a rule and let them eat dinner in there too if it’ll help with any loud noise and laughter.

Hopefully this has continued to help you be the best 1950’s wife you can be in a modern day world. Remember you get what you give

Wifely Duties 1950’s Style #5

February 24, 2014

Prepare the children:

Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces, comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part

Now, I don’t have children so I couldn’t give any personal expertise on how I do this but I was once a child. I remember growing up that we did this in a way. There was a free time of play and then a clean up time before dinner when the house was going to start settling down.

Most children, especially younger ones, run to the door when their mom or dad come home. If there is warmth, love, nurturing, appreciation and respect in and around the home, why would they not be excited to greet the one that provides all this wonderfulness. Now my dad was mostly a hard labor working man and he would clean up before hugging us because he was dirty and smelly, so what if the tables where turned? What if my dad was a business man that wore a nicely pressed shirt and tie everyday to work. He wouldn’t really be too excited about his children hugging and jumping all over him with sticky fingers, dirty clothes, finger paint covered hands or anything else.

Like I said, we don’t have children, but we pets. Now, my husband is a pressed shirt and tie business man and even though he’s excited to see me when he comes home I wont hug him when I’m preparing dinner if I have something on my hands. He wont let the dog jump up on him in his work clothes. He wont even let the cat sit on his lap while in work clothes cause of the fur they leave behind. It’s not until he gets into his comfortable clothes that he’s ok with the all animals on him.

Some ways that we can make this fit for our family is:

  1. If you have a baby, make sure there’s a fresh diaper on and a clean face so he can pick the little one up with pure pleasure.
  2. Have older children put toys away and wash hands and, like the rule states, change clothes if needed. This will teach good manners and organization!
  3. If you have no children but instead pets, crate your dog (if trained) or put up a baby gate to isolate them, for a moment, to a bedroom, bathroom, den, etc. Once “daddy” is in comfortable clothes, let “Fluffy” loose.
  4. Make sure all pet fur has been cleaned from the sofa, in case he wants to sit for a bit before changing. I suggest cleaning it earlier then placing a blanket over it. Remove blanket before he comes home.
  5. If there’s a friend of your child’s spending the night just let them know, nicely, how your household works and that your husband has worked hard all day. If they want to play and be loud then just have them go to your child’s bedroom. Break a rule and let them eat dinner in there too if it’ll help with any loud noise and laughter.

Hopefully this has continued to help you be the best 1950’s wife you can be in a modern day world. Remember you get what you give

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